Mar 14, 2014, 1:46 PM EST
Top seed James Madison shook off gritty UNCW 69-56 to advance to Saturday’s CAA Tournament semifinals against the winner of Friday’s 2:30 p.m. quarterfinal between No. 4 Drexel and No. 5. Hofstra.
Credit the short-handed Seahawks — they dressed seven players — for lingering long enough for the Dukes to keep their starters in for the duration. Kelva Atkins scored a career-best 33 for the Seahawks on 11-of-19 shooting.
“Everybody is fighting for their life,” said JMU Coach Kenny Brooks. “I thought our talent prevailed, but I thought they played just as hard as we did. We can’t allow that if we’re going to win the CAA Tournament.”
But the more balanced Dukes were led by Precious Hall’s 18, Toia Giggetts’ 13 and Jazmon Gwathmey’s 12. Hall was 4-of-6 from behind the arc, and JMU shot 46 percent from the field in the second half.
“Our goal was to put them in a situation where they had to think about it,” said UNCW Coach Adell Harris. “They have a roster full of answers.”
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